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Can Transcendental Meditation help lower healthcare costs?
by Linda Egenes
Transcendental Meditation News - USA Translate This Article
12 May 2014
In a recent interview Robert E. Herron, Ph.D., talks about the current US healthcare crisis and how the Transcendental Meditation technique can help prevent chronic disease and lower costs.
Dr Herron is an independent researcher, writer, speaker, and consultant in medical cost reduction and economic policy, and director of the Center for Holistic Systems Analysis in Fairfield, Iowa, USA.
Linda Egenes: As a nation, how can preventive measures help us to lower healthcare costs?
Dr. Robert Herron: To say it in one sentence, by providing preventive treatment modalities to the people who consistently incur the greatest expenses, we could leverage the greatest reductions in overall medical expenses and end up with the lowest treatment cost for everyone.
In most populations, a small fraction of people account for the majority of healthcare costs. In the U.S., for instance, the 10 percent of the population with the highest expenses incurred 60-70 percent of our total medical expenditures annually. In the Medicare population, the highest spending 5 percent incurred 43 percent of total Medicare costs, and 25 percent of seniors accounted for 85 percent of total expenses.
Research shows that high-cost people typically have chronic conditions, which are affected by excessive stress. As we know, stress degrades the immune system and other physiological systems, such as the cardiovascular system and contributes to a wide range of physical and mental disorders.
Prolonged stress also contributes to the unhealthy lifestyles that cause most chronic conditions—such as smoking, drinking, and abuse of drugs—which account for approximately 80 percent of national medical expenditures. Clearly, stress reduction will help reduce high medical costs.
Because chronic stress is a leading driver of high medical expenses, if health insurance, Medicare, and Medicaid* started covering the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique, the most effective stress-reduction method as shown by research, it would be possible to greatly reduce skyrocketing national healthcare expenditures without cutting benefits, increasing premiums, or raising taxes.
Global Good News will continue to feature excerpts from the interview with Dr Herron in the coming days.
See related article: An affordable solution to healthcare
* US government programs providing health care for elderly and low-income people.
Copyright © 2014 Maharishi Foundation USA
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